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Doug Smith

Senior writer Doug Smith scouts Los Angeles for the ragged edges where public policy meets real people, combining data analysis and gumshoe reporting to tell L.A. stories through his 45 years of experience covering the city. As past database editor from 2004 through 2015, he hunted down and analyzed data for news and investigative projects. Besides “Grading the Teachers,” he contributed to investigations of construction abuse in the community college system and the rising toll of prescription drug overdoses. Smith has been at The Times since 1970, covering local and state government, criminal justice, politics and education. He was the lead writer for Times’ coverage of the infamous North Hollywood shootout, winner of a 1997 Pulitzer Prize. Between 2005 and 2008, Smith made five trips to Iraq on loan to our foreign desk.
L.A. is swamped with 311 complaints over homeless camps. But are the cleanups pointless?

Requests for sweeps of homeless encampments have jumped almost 170% since 2016. That has led to a cycle of cleanups that many now say works for no one in L.A.

Homelessness jumps 12% in L.A. County and 16% in the city; officials ‘stunned’

In a setback for efforts to fight homelessness, the number of people on the streets and in shelters rose in 2019. Officials blame a lack of affordable housing.

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